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Avatar universal

Foul Gas x 1week before mentrual period every month

I am 32 y/o female 5'7", 150lbs, 2 children and happily married. I do not take any medication or BC pills. I have minimal stress. (many blessings!)My problem: Every month approx one week prior to onset of my period...I experience horrible foul smelling flatulence.  It is embarrasing and needless to say hard to ignore. 3-4x times a year it is accompanied by severe and sudden onset diarrhea, migraine, and other common PMS symptoms.  In researching this topic, I find much on PMS symptoms and treatment...but little mention of this particular problem other than "IBS" or "bowel changes". I do not have mood swings (even husband agrees) but, I am often more tired, clumsy-(I drop things), stutter, and have uncomfortable back pain DURING my period.  What is causing this smell? I am not kidding when I say it is THE foulest odor you can imagine and for 3-4 days of the 1 week it is frequent. Obviously, I try to "hold it in" if in room with others and it is not explosive but, it is so foul I even wake up in the middle of the night because the smell has woken me. I have what I would consider "normal" gas normally.  Please help...I want to know the specific physiologic reason it occurs and what I can do about it.  Thank you.
88 Responses
Avatar universal
Sounds like you need to see a specialist possibly a gastro or digestion doctor.  I would usually say it's due to what you've eaten the night or day before, at least that's what it is for me, but if it's every month, then I don't know what it could be.  If it is bothering you as much as it sounds like, I'd definitely see a doctor about it.
Avatar universal
I stumbled across your post and I too suffer from similar symptoms.  I have THE foulest smelling gas the week or week and a half leading up to my period.  It is most of the times accompanied by loose stool, sometimes diarrhea.  Outside of this time period, I too have normal gas odor and stool.  It is tolerable now simply because I am single, but if I were married or dating it would be completely misearable.  I have considered seeking physicians advice, but wanted to research it a little further.  Have you had any new updates?
Avatar universal
For the women writing about the foul smelling flatulence...here's some advice from me...I have been a pharmacist for 13 years:  You can try taking over-the-counter magnesium supplements...400mg a day a few days before you usually have this problem.  There are also other over-the-counter odor reducers available, but most of them contain chlorophyll (which is a natural substance that makes all green plants green...and is a natural do-odorizor)...but magnesium is a main component of chlorophyll, so it works just as well and is inexpensive. Magnesium is very safe to take.  In fact, if you don't eat enough greens, you may be slightly deficient in this essential mineral, although most doctors aren't aware it, or don't think it is important.  They can only measure magnesium levels OUTSIDE your body's cells, which may be normal, but INTRACELLULAR magnesium may still be low.  There has been research to study if the US should put magnesium into the grain supply, like it does many other vitamins and minerals, to ensure people get enough.  Cardiology doctors often prescribe their heart patients to take magnesium because it is essential for our cardiovascular systems to work.  It works great, and you can buy it anywhere, usually as magnesium oxide.  It will not stop the gas, but it will de-odorize it.  Also be aware that foul smelling gas is often the result of eating too much processed foods...if you try to eat natural it won't be as bad.  Good luck!
Avatar universal
I just posted the comment about the magnesium...and if you want you can type in "magnesium" and "odors" or "deodorizer" into the internet and see lots of info on it!
Avatar universal
Hi..It's been awhile since you posted.  Did you ever receive any anwers about your "monthly issue"? I have the same symtoms every month, including the studdering.  Just looking for answers!  Thanks!
Avatar universal
I have a similar problem...not the foul gas but definitely smellier than usual.  Also, the day of my period I get severe diarrhea.  I've never even had cramps before, so this recent condition seems very strange and I can't find any information to tie diarrhea to menstruation.
Avatar universal
I can't offer any help...but if there is strength in #'s I'll help make you stronger;)  I'm 45 and I've had that problem, well, forever.  It is about a week before my period...and you are not kidding...it is sulfurous gas.  I have several theories.  First, I'm wondering about endometriosis...possibly some endometrial stroma glands in the colon that are playing with the balance.  Secondly, strong downward engergy (Chinese or Ayurvedic medicine) that compounds things.  Thanks very much to the magnesium poster...I'll definitely give that a try.  If nothing else, it makes one look forward to menopause ;)
Avatar universal
I too have EXACTLY the same symptoms.  I will give magnesium a try as well.  Has anybody had any luck with it?
Avatar universal
I, too have the same problem, although lately it seems like more than just that week!!  If indeed there is a magnesium problem, isnt magnesium tied to calcium absorption?  and if so, then we are all not getting enough calcium!    My Grandmother had this problem too, as I recall, and she ended up with severe osteoporosis.  also, I do have endometriosis, but who knows what causes this...I have always maintained that it is the hormones we produce around our periods that causes the reaction.  
Avatar universal
We've been married for almost 6 years now, and I've been very sensitive, understanding, and supportive so far, but it is getting old.

I hope someone can find a cure to this issue because it is really starting to irritate me.  My wife says she isn't aware of the exact moment the gas is being passed!  This just sounds rediculous to me because I've had many years of passing gas.  I know when it is developing, when it is building, when it is unbearable and when it NEEDS to get out!  So when I hear her say, " I can feel it " really shocks me and pisses me off.

I don't want to sound like a complete ***, but my patience is running down and out.  To top it off she doesn't seem to want to try anything that might help the situation.  I'm also getting angry that I wasn't made aware of this before we got married.  It wouldn't have been a deal breaker, but it would have been nice to clear the air. (punn intended).  I feel some resentment developing in my gutt.  This whole thing may sound a little shallow and immature, but I didn't have anything hidden from her about my body.  From the jokes between her and her best friend, I know that she has had this issue for a long time-even before we got married.

signed,
Frustrated and fed up.
Avatar universal
You will pleased to hear that I have found the cure.  About 10 days before your period is due cut out milk and everything that contains milk - butter, cheese and the numerous things that contain milk powder.  This includes goats milk and other types.  I am English and so have tea with milk but I still have this because it is against the law not to.  Margerine made with 100% sunflower oil is a good alternative to butter.

The thing with milk is that in your stomach it reacts with the acid and turns into a cottage cheese like consistency and ferments, which causes gas.  I don't know whether this is made worse in the lead up to a period because we have more of an acidic environment in our gut because of hormones or whether out digestion is slower but whatever the reason it works.

Give it a try and let me know how you get on.
Avatar universal
Thanks to everyone who has posted about this I am very grateful.  I have been too embarrassed to ask anyone about it and was very happy to find this discussion. I am only 18 and just started having this problem about two months ago. I never had this happen to me when I was younger.  I will try to avoid milk, I do eat a lot of dairy.  If anyone else has had other treatments that work, I would appreciate the help.  
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